How can I help myself?

Introduction

This lesson will provide you with practical tips and strategies to help you cope with your thoughts, and help you manage your emotions during difficult times. We will use the warning signs and risk factors we discussed before as a base to make a safety plan to minimize the risk of harm.

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help and support, this lesson is designed to empower you to take action and get the help you need.

Strategies to manage suicidal Thoughts

It’s important to take the time to explore and experiment with different strategies to find what works for you. We are all unique individuals and this means that certain techniques work better for us than others. It’s also important to understand that self-help strategies are a great starting point, but they should not be seen as a replacement for professional help.

Making a Safety Plan

Having a safety plan in place can provide a sense of structure and control during periods of emotional distress, which can help reduce feelings of hopelessness and isolation. By proactively addressing the risk factors that contribute to suicidal thoughts and behaviour, individuals can better manage their mental health and reduce the likelihood of self-harm.

Breathing Techniques

Breathing techniques have proven to be a useful tool in managing suicidal thoughts or ideation. When someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts, they may feel overwhelmed, anxious, and may struggle to catch their breath. Breathing techniques can reduce those symptoms by slowing down the breath and decreasing heart rate and prove a good way to redirect our focus away from the thoughts.

Grounding Techniques

Grounding techniques can help to shift focus away from negative thoughts and feelings and bring an individual’s attention to the present moment. This technique can help to decrease feelings of hopelessness and disconnection and reduce the intensity of suicidal thoughts and related emotions.

Seeking Connection

Connecting with others can provide a sense of belonging, purpose, and hope. This connection could come in the form of reaching out to a friend or family member, cuddling a pet, attending a support group, or even just looking at memories through photos or memorabilia. Even simple acts of connection, like sending a text or email to someone, or engaging in a hobby or activity with others, can help to break down the barriers of isolation and provide a sense of connection. It’s important to remember that there is no shame in seeking help, and that support and connection can make all the difference in managing suicidal thoughts.

Physical Activities

Exercise is a powerful tool for managing heightened emotions as it releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. 

Exercise learns you how to be in touch with your body and it grounds us. This can be particularly important when you are experiencing suicidal thoughts. Being able to redirect your focus to how your body feels can be an effective way to pull yourself back into the present. 

Seek Professional Help

The above techniques have been proven to work for a range of different people. It can however be the case that you find it hard to implement them in your life or your difficulties feel to intense to make a start on them by yourself. 

Seeking professional help can support you in  managing your suicidal thoughts, create a safe space to explore them and process the events and feelings that trigger them.

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